Trichotillomania is an emotional disorder similar to OCD. It involves pulling body hairs out, usually one at a time to help experience some form of relaxation or stress relief. Obviously one or two hairs pulled out will not be noticed but continuous hair pulling will soon mean a noticeable bald patch appearing. This will generally add to the distress and hiding the problem becomes another problem in itself. Hair is often pulled from the head but can be from the eyebrows or pubic hair.
The hair pulling can take the form of a ritual, until it feels “just right” or be an automatic, often unconscious action. In psychological terms it may be a way of relieving stress or anxiety, a form of self harm or an addictive behaviour that temporarily relieves the symptoms.
As I suggest to clients it is important first to get a medical opinion, however there are various psychological therapies that can be used, hypnosis being one of them. I help treat clients with this issue using hypnosis, EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) NLP and very importantly helping build the clients’ confidence and self worth.
A recent client was a student who was using the hair pulling to relieve stress around her university course and the pressure of exams. She was pulling hair from her eyebrows but after one session had reduced the habit considerably and after three sessions was feeling much less anxious, more confident and happy and had stopped it altogether. As with any addictive or compulsive behaviour it is important to be prepared for stress triggers in the future and have in place effective tools to deal with such situations. We all know that no one is immune from stress and that there will be times in our lives when it will be impossible to avoid so being prepared to deal with it effectively when or if it arises is very important.
I find hypnosis and EFT a very powerful combination of therapies that offer clients tools that will last them a lifetime and help them regain and continue to keep control of their lives even when the therapy is concluded.
If you would like to discuss any of these issues just call or email me and I will be happy to chat with you.